West of the Hill Country

Written by: Robert Ludden

Passion overspent,
The details mount;
the land is free, far out
where winds are wild, the grasses dry;
reflection punishes itself
and distance goes inexorably
from post to post and long past vision.
Mercy is for purchase,
when they open up the doors.

One speaks of crying.
May it be done absent sorrow?
Absent joy?
Sir, call the roll; 
no, never absent touches of regret.
The land is free, somehow;
repeat it endlessly. The fenceposts
will be there, waiting, I suppose.
But they are absent being,
incidental silent cries
to emptiness.

Absent anything.